• MassSpec-Kennedy-CIG

    Isotope Geochemistry

    Isotope geochemists develop and use isotopic ratio methods to study fundamental Earth Processes, as well as environmental and energy problems of national interest.

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  • 6a0133f32df47b970b0133f35829c5970b-800wi

    Reactive Transport Modeling

    This effort involves simulation and study of coupled mineral-water-gas reactive transport in unsaturated porous media.

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The Geochemistry Department of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Earth Sciences Division has its roots beginning with mapping the distribution of naturally occurring radioactive minerals (NORM) during the 1960s. From there, research expanded into geothermal energy and radioactive waste disposal research during the 1970s, officially becoming a department within the newly founded Earth Sciences Division (ESD) in 1977. A major shift in the Department’s focus towards more basic energy research occurred in 1988 with the arrival of Donald DePaolo (former director of ESD, now ALD for Berkeley Lab’s Energy Area) and the founding of the Center for Isotope Geochemistry. The 1990s represented a decade of expansion into geochemical research related to the Yucca Mountain project (including the initiation of the reactive transport group within geochemistry), climate research (which was spun off into the Climate Sciences Department in 2007), environmental remediation sciences and molecular-scale geochemical processes.

Core Capabilities

Environmental Geochemistry and Biogeochemical Cycling

This expertise includes synchrotron-based spectromicroscopic techniques, which are being used to unravel the chemical and physical heterogeneity of natural samples and quantify ecosystem biogeochemical cycling.

High Temperature Geochemistry

Our bench-scale studies utilize hydrothermal reactors of various types that permit experiments at temperatures up to 400°C and pressures up to 200MPa.


Isotope Geochemistry

Isotope geochemists develop and use isotopic ratio methods to study fundamental Earth Processes, as well as environmental and energy problems of national interest. Several Earth Sciences Division research programs are supported through the Center for Isotope Geochemistry (CIG).


Molecular and Nano-geochemistry

This research field studies the fundamental, molecular-scale phenomena that underpin biogeochemical processes in the natural world and includes a significant effort addressing the properties and environmental roles of natural nanoparticles.

Reactive Transport Modeling

This effort involves simulation and study of coupled mineral-water-gas reactive transport in unsaturated porous media.

Michael A Antonelli

Phone: (510) 486-4000

John A Apps

Phone: (510) 486-5193

Tyler J Arbour


Phone: (510) 219-1135

Bhavna Arora - ESD studio portrait

Bhavna Arora

Postdoctoral Fellow

Phone: 510-495-2163
Fax: 510-486-5686

Anirban Basu

Phone: (510) 486-4000

Lauren Beckingham - Earth Scienced Divison studio portrait.

Lauren E. Beckingham

Postdoctor Fellow

Phone: 510-486-5128

Markus Bill - ESD portrait

Markus Bill

Scientific Engineer Associate

Phone: 510-486-5659
Fax: 510-486-5496

Kristie A Boering

Phone: (510) 642-3472

Shaun Tylor Brown - ESD studio portrait. Earth Sciences

Shaun Tyler Brown

Senior Research Associate
Research Associate Principal

Phone: 510-486-5241

Carolyn Ann Cantwell

Phone: (510) 495-2388


Chun-Long Chen

Phone: (510) 486-4739


John Neil Christensen

Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-486-6735
Fax: 510-486-7152


Mark Conrad

Isotopic Geochemist & Geologist
Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-486-6141
Fax: 510-486-5496

Dipankar Dwivedi - Earth Scienced Divison studio portrait.

Dipankar Dwivedi

Postdoctoral Fellow

Phone: 510-486-4005
Fax: 510-486-5686

Lawrence Finnin

Phone: 510-486-4975

Patricia Fox - Earth Sciences (ESD) portrait

Patricia M. Fox

Phone: 510-495-2037

George A Frye

Phone: (707) 579-9305


Benjamin Gilbert

Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-495-2748
Fax: 510-486-5686

Shelly Gulati

Phone: (209) 946-3178

Jeremy Hanlon

Phone: (510) 486-6555

Michael Holmboe

Phone: (510) 486-7393

Lawrence Hutchings - ESD studio portrait

Lawrence J. Hutchings

Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-486-7446
Fax: 510-486-5686

Marco Keiluweit

Phone: (510) 495-2057

C Brenhin Keller

Phone: (510) 495-2224


Burton M. Kennedy

Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-486-6451
Fax: 510-486-5686

Eunju Kim

Phone: (510) 486-6240

Regina Kirsch

Phone: (510) 486-6165


Kevin Knauss

Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-486-5344

Kazuya Kobayashi

Phone: (510) 486-7393

Namhey Lee

Phone: (510) 486-7466


Namhey Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Phone: 510-486-7466

Yangyang Liu

Phone: (510) 486-7393

Wei-Cheng Lo

Phone: (510) 486-6709

Francesco Femi Marafatto

Phone: (510) 486-4000

Elizabeth Mitnick

Phone: (510) 486-4000

Sergi Molins Rafa - Earth Sciences (ESD) portrait

Sergi Molins Rafa

Research Scientist

Phone: 510-486-7540
Fax: 510-486-5686

Satish Myneni

Phone: (510) 486-4591

Rachel Neurath

Phone: (510) 486-7118


Peter S. Nico

Soil and Environmental Biogeochemist
Staff Scientist

Phone: 510-486-7118
Fax: 510-486-5686


Thomas L. Owens

Phone: (510) 643-5061


Nigel William Trevelyan Quinn

HydroEcological Engineering Advanced Decision Support (HEADS)
Group Leader

Phone: 510-486-7056
Fax: 510-486-7152

Whitney Sandelin

Phone: (209) 327-3195

Kathrin Schilling

Phone: (510) 486-6735

Drew Siler - ESD studio portrait

Drew Lorenz Siler

Postdoctoral Fellow

Phone: 510-486-6322

Rajshekhar Singh

Phone: (510) 495-2374

Susan E Spaulding

Phone: (510) 495-2748


Nicolas Spycher

Staff Geological Scientist

Phone: 510-495-2388
Fax: 510-486-7714


Carl I. Steefel

Senior Scientist

Phone: 510-486-7311
Fax: 510-486-5686


William T. Stringfellow

Director, LBNL Environmental Measurements Laboratory
Environmental Engineer

Phone: 510-486-7903
Fax: 510-486-7152

Charuleka Varadharajan - Earth Scienced Divison studio portrait.

Charuleka Varadharajan

Project Scientist

Phone: 510-495-8890
Fax: 510-486-5686

Roelof Versteeg

Phone: (510) 495-8890

Christoph Wanner

Phone: (510) 495-8147

James M Watkins

Phone: (510) 486-4000


Glenn A. Waychunas

Group Leader, Molecular Geochemistry & Nanogeoscience
Senior Scientist

Phone: 510-495-2224
Fax: 510-486-5686

Bastien Wild

Phone: (510) 486-5344

Li Yang

Phone: 510-486-4774

Wenbo Yang

Phone: (510) 486-6141

Xiu Yuan

Phone: 510-486-7684

Shuo Zhang

Phone: (510) 423-1294

Mengqiang Zhu

Phone: (510) 643-9120

Featured Publications

Sengor, S. S., Singh, G., Dohnalkova, A., Spycher, N., Ginn, T. R., Peyton, B., Sani, R. K. 2014, Aggregation of biogenic U(IV) nanoparticles: Impact of different environmental conditions, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 247

Pornwongthong, P., Bill, M., Conrad, M., Mahendra, S. 2014, Characterization of 1,4-dioxane biodegradation by compound-specific isotope analysis, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 248

Stringfellow, W. T., Domen, J. K., Camarillo, M. K., Sandelin, W. L., Tinnacher, R., Jordan, P., Houseworth, J., Birkholzer, J. 2014, Characterizing compounds used in hydraulic fracturing: A necessary step for understanding environmental impacts, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 248

Bergmann, J. C., Costa, O. Y. A., Gladden, J. M., Singer, S., Heins, R., D'haeseleer, P., Simmons, B. A., Quirino, B. F. 2014, Discovery of two novel beta-glucosidases from an Amazon soil metagenomic library, Fems Microbiology Letters, 351, (2), 147-155

Newton, A. G., Kwon, K., Watanabe, N., Kozaki, T., Sposito, G. 2014, Effects of isomorphic substitution on the 2:1 clay mineral edge structure: Insights from atomistic simulations, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 248

Trebotich, D., Adams, M. F., Molins, S., Steefel, C. I., Shen, C. P. 2014, High-Resolution Simulation of Pore-Scale Reactive Transport Processes Associated with Carbon Sequestration, Computing in Science & Engineering, 16, (6), 22-31

Bazilevskaya, Ekaterina, Rother, Gernot, Mildner, David F. R., Pavich, Milan, Cole, David, Bhatt, Maya P., Jin, Lixin, Steefel, Carl I., Brantley, Susan L. 2015, How Oxidation and Dissolution in Diabase and Granite Control Porosity during Weathering, Soil Science Society of America Journal, (1), 55-73

Tinnacher, R. M., Holmboe, M., Davis, J. A., Tournassat, C., Bourg, I. 2014, Impacts of pore structure and diffusion-accessible porosity for calcium-bromide diffusion in sodium-montmorillonite, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 248

Brown, G. E., Levard, C., Cismasu, A. C., Michel, F. M., Dublet, G., Ma, R., Lowry, G. V. 2014, Interaction of engineered and natural nanoparticles (NPs) at solid-water, solid-organic matter, and solid-microbe interfaces, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 248

Marafatto, F. F., Strader, M. L., Gonzalez-Holguera, J., Schwartzberg, A., Gilbert, B., Pena, J. 2014, Mechanism of delta-MnO2 photoreduction probed by ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 247

Kwon, K. D., Refson, K., Sposito, G. 2014, Mechanistic understanding of Mn(IV) oxide reactivity through density functional theory, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 247

Bourg, I. C., Sposito, G. 2014, Molecular simulations of water in clay mineral nanopores, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 248

Tournassat, C., Bourg, I. C., Steefel, C. I. 2014, Quantification of the breakdown of modified Gouy-Chapman model for 2:1 salt background electrolyte: A molecular dynamic study, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 248

Shen, Y.R., G.A. Waychunas  2014, SFG studies of oxide-water interfaces: Protonation states, water polar orientations, and comparison with structure results from x-ray scattering, Vibrational Spectroscopy of Electrically Charged Interfaces, (10), 440

Welten, K. C., Nishiizumi, K., Owens, T. L., DePaolo, D. J. 2014, Thermal Neutron Fluences in Fragments of a Large L3-6 Chondritic Regolith Breccia, Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 49, A431-A431

Singer, D. M., Guo, H., Davis, J. A. 2014, U(VI) and Sr(II) sequestration in mesoporous materials: The importance of confined pore spaces, Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 247